Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads - Slashdot. Did you, like me, groan during the game on Monday Night; when the announcers called the Surface tablets iPads? Ouch. Apparently, properly identifying the product of a sponsor who spent $400 Million for the privilege is just another NFL screwup. Another one is properly identifying videotape of an NFL player committing a crime in an elevator. But, wait a minute. If iPad has become a generic term for tablet computer, does that mean that Apple loses its trademark protection for iPad? I suspect that a cease and desist letter is on the way to ESPN (Fox did it too) from Apple, as we speak. I don't want to speculate about the letter coming to ESPN and Fox from Microsoft.